Posts Tagged ‘songs’

Trivium – Silence In The Snow

Every Trivium release after Ascendancy has initially been met with some backlash by fans of the band. Pretty much every band by the album is solid, but every album is a departure from the previous one, so getting fixated on certain aspects of the sound of the band always leads to disappointment. That’s not to say that all criticism of their work is invalid, but there is always a yearning for older elements of the band’s sound from some. Yet, despite this, Trivium keep pushing forward, and with every album they change the shell around the core of their sound. Sometimes it works better than others, as the intricate and progressive Shogun was an absolute masterpiece, In Waves was their most diverse album, and while Vengeance Falls was met with some degree of negativity, its second half had some of the best songs they’ve ever written. Silence in the Snow  is the Florida quartet’s seventh album, and it sees them taking a different direction yet again, with a heavy bent towards traditional metal and the complete eschewing of screaming (which works out surprisingly well), and bringing back the elements of the fabled Shogun sound. And while the end result works more often than not, it’s a bit flawed. It’s hard to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of Silence in the Snow against each other, as they’re mostly disparate. The songs have structure issues, but the actual riffs that are in there are pretty great. Perhaps the easiest way to sort this out is to just lay the issues out there and let everyone sort them out for themselves. There is really one prime problem with this album, and everything else stems out from it. That problem is the reliance on choruses, or more specifically, song structures that emphasize choruses. Pretty much every song has a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus structure. Some of the best aspects of Trivium songs are “the riffs in between”, things that lead verses into choruses, interludes, pre-solo sections, et cetera. The band not having any screaming on this album is really no issue, as there aren’t any riffs that make one go “I wish there was some screaming here”, but that’s actually the root of the issue here. It’s not that the band are no longer doing harsh vocals, it’s that they’re not writing riffs that they normally play when they’re doing harsh vocals. And while the screaming isn’t really missed, the riffing is. Further exacerbating this issue is the fact that the choruses area repeated a lot, which makes the songs feel rather simplistic and repetitive. It’s also a problem when a lot of the songs have their verses start with the “guitar plays a note or two then stops, and Matt sings over a bassline” bit, which gets old even faster. While those issues sound a bit grave, when the album works, it really works. It has some of the best lines they’ve ever written. The riffing isn’t really the focus on most of the songs, the vocals are, and the riffing just provides a backdrop for the singing. While Matt Heafy isn’t the best singer out there, he’s better than he ever was (and he doesn’t rely heavily on pitch correction either, as live videos make very evident) and he pulls off a singing-driven album well. And while the complaints about choruses being too prevalent stands, they’re damn good choruses. It’s so easy to sing-along to everything in the album, and it’s all ridiculously catchy and memorable. The heavy metal influence is prevalent mostly on a few songs, whereas the rest are Shogun-era Trivium songs with the screaming bits cut out and the choruses emphasized. That album has been the holy grail for the band’s fanbase since its release, and this album brings back pretty much every aspect of that sound minus the heavier parts. The lack of more intense riffing probably partly due to the fact that the singing is a lot more difficult than what the band has done before, and Matt has to focus on his voice, which forces him to just play basic rhythms. The band mostly cover that up with great song writing, proving their claim they’ve been making for years that it’s not about how hard the riff you play is, but how good the riff sounds. And for guitar enthusiasts, the band still have neat riffs in some of the songs, and their solos, which every song has, are some of their best. Really, how much one enjoys this album will come down to what they’ve come to expect from Trivium over the years. If their image of the band was that of a metalcore band with screaming and melodeath-esque riffing, they will probably be disappointed. But if they liked Trivium for their melodies, Matt’s singing and the memorable lines, this album contains more of those than ever. They’ve brought back some of their best songwriting elements, and while the implementation is a bit flawed due to the simplistic structure of the songs, the end result is really good and is full of stupidly catchy riffs and choruses. In ways, Silence in the Snow is the “Black Album” of Trivium’s career, as it reflects a position in their musical progression similar to how that album was situated for Metallica . And while this might (rightfully) alienate some longtime fans, it’s just a different direction and not really a bad one. The aspects that are lacking are undeniable, but what’s here is also compelling in its own right. ? Trivium –  Silence In The Snow gets… 3.5/5 -NT

Piggy D of Rob Zombie: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

[Photos By Maclyn Bean] Mayhem Fest shaped up to be one of the strongest lineups the show has seen so far. With bands like Job For A Cowboy, Machine Head , and Mastodon , there are very few bands that would be better suited to headline than ROB ZOMBIE. It’s no secret that he is a busy guy, not only with music, but in other ventures such as movies ( Lords Of Salem is coming to video 9/3/2013) and comic books. His live shows are also an intense visual overload. Bassist Piggy D gives readers a sneak peek on what to expect with the new show, a little behind the scenes look at the recording for their new album Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor , working with ALICE COOPER, and of his other musical ventures that are all expected to be seeing new releases of some sort this year. It’s not known to many people, but you actually have a fair amount of song writing ability outside of Rob Zombie’s band, most notably with Alice Cooper. What songs did you write for the newest album Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor? I contributed to a track called ”Lucifer’s Rising.” Everybody writes a lot of songs, and everybody comes up front with a bunch of ideas. Usually, they end up becoming other things or they get changed around to fit whatever the vibe is that he [Rob] is going for. He ended up digging that song a lot, which is great. It’s nice and upbeat, makes you want to break shit [laughs], so I’m really happy with the way that one turned out. I do a lot of writing with other artists, I’ve written a lot of stuff with Alice [Cooper]. I wrote a song with him called “Last Man On Earth,” which was on his record Welcome 2 My Nightmare [In addition, John 5 plays guitar on the track “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever” and Rob Zombie does backing vocals on “The Congregation” for this album as well]. We also recorded a Halloween song together called “Keeping Halloween Alive.” It’s kind of like a Christmas song, except for Halloween. Yeah, I just heard it last week for the first time and I thought it was really good. It was fun to do. I called him on a Tuesday and we were recording for it by that Friday. We were done in about two hours. Me, Alice, and one of my writing partners Dave, actually did a whole record together a couple of years ago before his last record. It’s really heavy with some pop elements, some really cool punk stuff on it, all in all it’s just a raw, dirty record. I’m excited to go back and revisit that one. It hasn’t been released or anything yet, we started mixing it, but Welcome 2 My Nightmare needed to happen when it needed to happen, which is how I brought into working on that record. We wrote a bunch of songs for that record and “Last Man On Earth” is the one that made the cut that also fit into the story. To be honest, we actually have closer to two whole albums worth of material that was written around that time frame. One of these days, hopefully, that will see the light of day. That would be sick! I would love to hear that, as I’m sure thousands of other people would as well. Going back to Rob Zombie’s new album, “Lucifer’s Rising” is one of the more faster tracks that relates more to the old school aggressive Zombie. Overall, there is a fair amount of experimentation on the new record that wouldn’t match, say, Hellbelly Deluxe or The Sinister Urge. What is the progression among the band that, while writing, steered towards differentiating from the previous albums? Well, Hellbelly Deluxe and The Sinister Urge , were pretty much just Rob and producer Scott Humphrey that were bringing in different musicians for different songs, like Tommy Lee played some songs and John Freese played on other songs, so it was kind of whatever they felt fit that particular song. The last two Zombie records [ VRRV and Hellbelly Deluxe 2] have been more of a band effort, where everyone is playing the parts and fleshing out the ideas. HD2 , for example, was all recorded live. That signified the beginning of the new process of recording for the band. This record was different from that in some ways as well. Everyone was playing on this record as well, but there were times when Rob was taking the pieces and rearranging them and building new song structures. There was a few tracks where I had to re-track the basses on that, when I heard them, was like “What song is this?” because the parts had been rearranged, but it flowed so much better and it sounded more unique and original. It was an interesting process and it came together really fast. The initial tracking of the record was done in less than a month and a half. What were some of the bigger differences between recording this album and HD2, other than the rearranging bit? Well, like the last album, a lot of this one was recorded live. One of the main differences was the editing because what happened with HD2 was that the overall structure of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge or whatever pretty much stayed the same. With this new one, there was a lot of rearranging different parts and fitting them together to find out where the flow fit better, where song crescendos and putting it in the beginning and such. There was a much bigger emphasis onto the overall flow of the individual track. With HD2 , we would walk in the studio and say “Let’s write a fast song today,” “Let’s write a slow song today,” or “Let’s write an acoustic song.” There was much more thought into this album and Rob wanted it to crescendo at the end, which is why you will find some of the stronger songs at the end of the record. It is one of those records, especially the first few times when you listen to it, you don’t want to turn it off because you’re afraid you’re going to miss something. It really builds up. I felt that as well. When you listen to the first half of the album, it feels really different because it’s not Rob Zombie’s typical sound that people are used to hearing. But it picks up towards the latter half into that familiar territory. What you’re hearing was a very concise effort. What he [Rob] and everyone else said when we first started going into the record was that he wanted to do everything untypical. Typical song structures in this genre start to become really stale, so he wanted to specifically break the mold of how we did the last record. What sort of plans are you guys making for headlining Mayhem Fest this year? I’ve seen Rob Zombie before in 2007 when he toured with Ozzy Osbourne and I remember how much visual production went into that live set. This is a significantly bigger production than anything that has been done before. It’s worth seeing just for the costume changes alone. The whole spiel of the show has just gotten enormous. It’s over-stimulation on every part of the stage and if you blink, you’ll miss something. We’ve been slowly building the show bigger and bigger for the past seven years that I’ve been in the band. This is probably going to be the biggest production he’s ever done. People are going to be really, really excited about it. There will for sure be some correlations to his latest movie Lords Of Salem integrated into the show as well. Tell me a little bit about The Haxans. I’ve read that you’ve released two singles so far under that. That’s been a slow process because my partner Shannon Gallant lives in England, in a log cabin out in the middle of nowhere, and internet is not on her side. While slow, the process has been really good as well as it forces us to work on everything meticulously and get it exactly right. We’re working on an EP of some new stuff and a couple of cover songs. It’s a fun exercise because we’ve never been in the same room creating music, she’s in her world and I’m in my world. We kind of mush the two of them together to create this really unique sound. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done, I’m really hands on with the writing. I like working in a room with someone creating music, and something like someone’s mood can set how the writing session will go. Whereas this, I’m asleep when she’s up and recording her vocals or putting in some weird sounds. In the morning, I’ll go check my email (if she was able to send an email), and I’ll exclaim “What the hell- this is crazy!” We’re two people behind two black curtains, just creating music and sending it to each other via the interwebs. Do you and guitarist John 5 collaborate outside of Rob Zombie’s band? We haven’t in a while. I did three album covers for him and album designing with him, which is really fun to do. He always has some really good ideas and he lets me go nuts with it. My other passion outside of music is designing album art. I’m a purist when it comes to that. It’s a shame that it gets reduced to a .jpeg on iTunes. I love the experience of listening to an album while looking at all of the artwork, read the lyrics, and everything. What future album art will you be doing? A lot for The Haxans. It’s an art overload and it’s taken its own sort of life alongside the music. Whenever I release a song, I always have some sort of artwork with it. I’m working with a new band now, I’m just a co-writer and co-producer, and I was able to dig into my pop influences with this one. I always tell people it’s like a cross between Ke$ha and Cheap Trick. If they had a baby and it came from outer space, it would be this band. They’re called The Doom Party, and it’s very sci-fi, very concept based. It’s a band that is set in the future and the music is somehow very old school. Musically, it seems very radio friendly. My aim is to bring a rawness into the band and to help develop the story through the songs, but also making the songs stand on their own. There are some videos in the works and other really exciting stuff, so just like you, I’m curious as to how it all plays out. It’s unlike anything that’s ever existed before. It’s a new Kiss, in the sense that everybody sings and everybody has their own identity, but it’s a 2013 version- excuse me, 2050 version of Kiss. What other sort of solo stuff do you have in the works? I’m a huge fan of The Replacements and I love old Minneapolis rock, that’s another big comfort zone for me, so it’s fun making that kind of music. I’m also a fan of Nick Cave, so I paint with different brushes depending on how I’m feeling. Sometimes I pick up a guitar and I want to write a fun, summertime, noisy track, and sometimes I get dark and moody and I’ll write some murder ballads. I’m doing everything simultaneously, which is probably slowing down the whole process [laughs]. Any last words for the fans and what to expect from the live show that we haven’t already covered? I’m really excited to bring the new show. It will bring the new songs to life. People who think they’ve seen the band before don’t have idea. They need to come and see the new show. It’s the biggest show you will see this year, so don’t miss it! – RB

Nine Inch Nails Confirm First 2013 Tour Dates

Michael Buckner, Getty Images There were a lot of Nine Inch Nails fans losing their minds earlier this week when it was revealed that the  Trent Reznor -led band was being resurrected  this year. Now we’ve got the first two confirmed performances from the reactivated and reconfigured Nine Inch Nails lineup. Consequence of Sound  reports that the band will play the Fuji Rock Festival at Niigata Prefecture, Japan the weekend of July 26-28. While the festival lineup has yet to be revealed, Bjork is also expected to take part. Fans can stay updated on the Fuji Rock Festival’s lineup additions and ticketing details by checking here . The other festival appearance on Nine Inch Nails’ schedule is the Rock ‘n’ Heim festival in Hockenheim, Germany. The music weekend will take place Aug. 16-18, with the band playing alongside System of a Down , Volbeat , Deftones , Tenacious D , Biffy Clyro and Enter Shikari among others. Festival updates on Rock ‘n’ Heim can be found here . As revealed earlier this week, the reconfigured Nine Inch Nails lineup will feature Reznor and returning instrumentalist Alessandro Cortini and drummer Ilan Rubin alongside former Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery, King Crimson’s Adrian Belew and Puscifer ‘s Josh Eustis. [button href=”http://loudwire.com/trent-reznor-new-nine-inch-nails-songs-hits-collection-prior-to-next-album/” title=”Next: Trent Reznor Expects New Songs on Hits Collection” align=”center”]

Rob Zombie Unveils New Single ‘Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Super Town’

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire Rob Zombie is ready to rock the airwaves, finally revealing the full audio behind his latest single ‘Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Super Town.’ The track is featured on Zombie’s forthcoming album, ‘ Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor ,’ due April 23. Zombie fans recently got a snippet of the new song as part of a puzzle featuring the album’s artwork on his website. Once all of the pieces were aligned perfectly to reveal the artwork, the beginning of the track played for listeners. The song itself is just the type of rocker you would want from Zombie. It’s got that adrenaline fueled drive like a man with his pedal to the metal. In the track, Zombie both sings and also comes off as a quick-slinging DJ. The track can be viewed as both a salute to where radio has been and a perhaps a bit of an indictment of where things are going. The track opens with the repetitive line, ‘ Radio has changed our lives and practically saved our lives ,” but later serves up the contradictory thought “ We listen to the radio / Dead radio ” in the chorus. To check out Rob Zombie’s ‘Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Super Town,’ listen to the track streaming at his website here . [button href=”http://loudwire.com/rob-zombie-the-lords-of-salem-film-trailer-no-2/” title=”Next: Rob Zombie Showcases Second ‘The Lords of Salem’ Film Trailer” align=”center”]

Clutch Lighten the Mood on ‘Earth Rocker’ Single and Album

Freeman Promotions Clutch are still rocking hard as the band prepares for the release of their ‘Earth Rocker’ album, but frontman Neil Fallon tells Loudwire that the overall mood of the disc is a little lighter than their last few discs. The frontman explained about the content shift, “I wanted lyrically this record to be more fun than the last couple of ones. Both ‘Strange Cousins’ and ‘Beale St.’ were both pretty dark records lyrically. This one has a bit more levity I think.” One of the songs that lightens things up is their current single and the album’s title track , where Fallon himself is having a blast giving his best rock ‘n’ roll cackle. The singer explains, “The ‘bu-ha-ha,’ for lack of a better way to describe it, I wouldn’t be doing that if Screaming Jay Hawkins hadn’t done it in ‘I Put a Spell on You.’ I did that kind of as a goof in practice once and I told the guys I wouldn’t do that and they said, ‘No, please do that again and make that part of the song.’” Even though it is a fun track, Fallon admits he has other uses for the song. He reveals, “It’s a little bit of a self-motivational speech. It’s something you say to yourself in the mirror before you go out and take on the day and that came about primarily when we were doing a lot of festivals. I heard a lot of young bands bemoaning or whining about having to play in the heat or the catering sucks or the crowd wasn’t good and I just, maybe I’m getting old and cranky, but I just found myself saying, ‘Shut the f— up and play.’ You should be so lucky that you have the opportunity to do this and most people would gladly exchange the opportunity to switch places with you at this point in time. Maybe I just found myself guilty of some of those same attitudes and had to slap myself out of it and that’s kind of where at least the attitude of that song came about.” Clutch’s ‘Earth Rocker’ arrives in stores March 19 and is currently available for pre-order here . Stay tuned for our full interview with Neil Fallon. [button href=”http://loudwire.com/clutch-2013-must-see-rock-concerts/” title=”Next: Clutch – 2013 Must-See Rock Concerts” align=”center”]

Top 20 Songs: Week of February 17-23, 2013

Photo by Dave Ma There’s a big shakeup at the top of the Loudwire Radio Top 20 Countdown this week. Just when it seemed like Deftones were knocking on the door to No. 1 last week, the band’s single ‘Tempest’ just got leapfrogged by Alice in Chains ‘ ‘Hollow,’ which makes a major move from No. 4 to No. 1. ‘Tempest’ holds strong at No. 2 for a second week, but their chances of taking that final step to reach the top of the charts just got a little more difficult. Meanwhile, All That Remains , who held the No. 1 spot for two weeks with ‘Stand Up,’ slide back to No. 3 this week. Elsewhere in the Top 5, Young Guns inch up a spot to No. 4 with ‘Bones,’ while Volbeat ‘s former No. 1 song, ‘Heaven Nor Hell,’ falls back two more spots to No. 5. While Alice in Chains moved three big notches to the top spot, they weren’t the biggest mover of the week. That title goes to Soundgarden ‘s ‘By Crooked Steps,’ which jumped up from No. 19 to No. 13 this week. The track actually traded spots with Five Finger Death Punch ‘s ‘The Pride,’ which took the biggest tumble, falling six notches to No. 19. And yes, there is one new track on the Loudwire Top 20 Countdown. Sevendust ‘s ‘Decay’ slips in at No. 18, pushing out Shinedown ‘s former chart-topper, ‘Enemies,’ from this week’s chart. Check out the full list of top 20 songs of this week’s countdown below and be sure to tune in and crank it up to rock out to Loudwire Radio this weekend. To find out where you can hear the countdown, click on the red button below. Loudwire Radio Top 20 Songs of the Week: 20. Green Day, ‘X-Kid’ 19. Five Finger Death Punch, ‘The Pride’ 18. Sevendust, ‘Decay’ 17. Hollywood Undead, ‘We Are’ 16. Otherwise, ‘I Don’t Apologize’ 15. Dave Grohl + Corey Taylor, ‘From Can to Can’t’ 14. P.O.D., ‘Higher’ 13. Soundgarden, ‘By Crooked Steps’ 12. Chevelle, ‘Same Old Trip’ 11. Avenged Sevenfold, ‘Carry On’ 10. 3 Doors Down, ‘One Light’ 9. Three Days Grace, ‘The High Road’ 8. Papa Roach, ‘Where Did the Angels Go’ 7. Halestorm, ‘Freak Like Me’ 6. Adelitas Way, ‘Alive’ 5. Volbeat, ‘Heaven Nor Hell’ 4. Young Guns, ‘Bones’ 3. All That Remains, ‘Stand Up’ 2. Deftones, ‘Tempest’ 1. Alice in Chains, ‘Hollow’ [button href=”http://loudwire.com/loudwire-radio-station-list/” title=”See Which Stations Air Loudwire Radio” align=”center”]

Anthrax Cover AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ – Exclusive Song Premiere

MegaForce Records Ever since Anthrax first hinted at a potential covers disc last year, there’s been plenty of anticipation of what the metal icons might take on. Now we know the classics tracks that the group have recorded for the upcoming ‘Anthems’ EP, and Loudwire is proud to premiere Anthrax’s ripping performance of AC/DC ‘s ‘T.N.T.’ in advance of the disc’s March 19 street date. Drummer Charlie Benante tells us, “Back in the day, when we would do encores we would play AC/DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’ We never recorded it back then, but when we were in the studio making ‘Worship Music,’ we decided we wanted to. But [singer] Joey [Belladonna] really wanted to do ‘T.N.T.’ He felt it was more in his style, and he knew the song backwards and forwards, so we recorded that, and it’s great.” Benante goes on to add, “We recorded the track in Chicago and in Los Angeles [and] the sessions were really easy, felt really good. The thing about ‘T.N.T.’ for me is that there’s not a lot of drumming on it. So the challenge for me was to not go crazy with fills, but to pay tribute to the original recording, and keep it AC/DC.” Anthrax does exactly that, keeping it to the rocking core of the AC/DC classic, but even though Benante says there’s not much for him to do, at the end of the track there’s the all-out free-for-all for the entire group as the band raises the tempo for the song’s explosive finish. Anthrax’s ‘Anthems’ also features the band’s covers of Rush ‘s ‘Anthem,’ Thin Lizzy ‘s ‘Jailbreak,’ Boston ‘s ‘Smokin” and Journey ‘s ‘Keep on Runnin” among others. In addition to ‘Anthems” cover art, Benante and artist Stephen Thompson have subtly redesigned each track’s original album cover art to “Anthrax” it. The ‘Anthems’ EP will first be housed in one of the “re-imagined” digipak covers, and then inserted inside the main CD cover sleeve. The main cover sleeve has been designed in such a way so fans will be able to see which one of the six “re-imagined” covers is inside. Look for Anthrax’s ‘Anthems’ on March 19. You can currently pre-order the disc here . And check out Anthrax’s rendition of AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ below: Listen to Anthrax Cover AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ [button href=”http://loudwire.com/tags/anthrax/” title=”Get All the Latest Anthrax News Here” align=”center”]

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